Wilson Health to implement visitor restrictions to limit spread of COVID-19

SIDNEY – Wilson Health along with the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association member hospitals announced they will implement visitor restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 effective immediately.

The robust visitor restrictions will help minimize contact for patients who need a safe and controlled environment to recover. Restrictions will provide an additional safeguard to protect the region’s health care workforce – the doctors, nurses and other health care personnel – who are essential in the response to COVID-19.

Visitor restrictions for COVID-19 have been developed with the support of GDAHA’s COVID-19 Taskforce and input from the region’s infection control experts, including Linda Smith, infection prevention specialist at Wilson Health.

The COVID-19 visitor restriction policy for Wilson Health and all affiliated facilities including all medical practices is:

• No visitation by anyone who is ill with seasonal flu or COVID-19 symptoms including shortness of breath, coughing, fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sore throat, muscle aches or diarrhea.

• No visitation by anyone under the age of 14.

• Patients will be allowed one visitor per day. Visitation will only be allowed by spouses, significant others, parents or legal guardians.

• Emergency department patients may have one support person.

• Obstetrics patients may have one partner and one birth support person.

• Surgical or procedural patients may have one visitor.

• Patients who require assistance due to mobility, interpretation or health care decision making may have one additional assistance person.

• When visiting a patient, visitors will be asked to primarily remain in the room with the patient.

• Exceptions can be made for end-of-life situations and other special circumstances.

Because of the increased risk of having complications with COVID-19, the elderly and those with chronic health problems should reconsider whether visiting patients in the hospital is necessary.

“The visitor restrictions are being implemented with the utmost sensitivity and respect to patients and their families,” Dr. Michael Trygstad, chief medical officer at Wilson Health, said. “We will work with patients on a case-by-case basis to ensure that patients receive the support needed, especially in situations where end of life may be a concern.”

Wilson Health also has canceled all community outreach activities at its main campus and at off-site locations. These include all support groups, seminars, health screenings and educational classes.

“Social distancing is imperative at this time,” Trygstad said. “In order to best protect our patients, staff and community, we must follow these preventive measures.”

COVID-19 is in Ohio and likely in this region, Wilson officials said. Hospitals and health care facilities must ensure they can keep unnecessary contamination away from patients whose immune systems are compromised. It is also important to help keep doctors, nurses and other personnel healthy so they can take care of the patients throughout the duration of this pandemic.

“We acknowledge the hardship that these measures may create for our patients, visitors and families,” Trygstad said. “We ask for the public’s support during this challenging time. We must be prepared to care for patients and are responsible for providing a safe and controlled environment that minimizes the risk of contracting COVID-19.”